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The Human Evolution and Development

Updated on April 21, 2012
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Christopher F. Bueno is currently the Dean of the College of Education, University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City.

The Stages in the Human Evolution :Sociological and Anthropological Concept on the Origin of Man

The human evolution is usually connected in the development of the different species of primates that able to evolve around 50 million years. Based on anthropological and archeological researches, there were different developments of the descendants of modern man . The human evolution for the modern man evolved 250,000 years ago as the races identified under the Homo Sapien ( Wise Man). We take the stages on the timeline of human evolution may follow in this chronological order :

1) About 40 million years ago. This is the early development of the human species through the evolution of the manlike primates which was known as the Hominid. The common relics of Hominids were “Ramapithecus” (14million years ago), and“Australopithecus ” ( 5 million years ago) found in India and Africa. They had small brain, could walk straight and frighten the enemies or predator with used of stones and sticks.

2) About 1-2 million years ago. In this period, the apelike men believed to be the first manlike creature with small brain, 4-5 feet tall, walk in upright position and able to use stone tools for weapons and protection to their enemies. The two common relics of apelike species were“ Zinjanthropus” (1.75 million years ago) and “ Lake Turkana” (2-3 million years ago) found in Africa.

3) About 500,000 years ago. In the usual development of human species, they were called the manlike creature with direct descendants to the modern man that lived in Asia (particularly in China and Indonesia), Africa and Europe. The physical characteristics were almost the same of the brain with modern man about 5 feet or 5.2 feet. They were able to use weapons for the hunting and protection of the enemies just like other human species. The common human relics in this period just like the “Pithecanthropus Erectus” ( 700,000 years ago) and “Sinanthropus Pekinensis”(500,000–750,000 years).

4) About 250,000 years ago. The human species in this period believed to be the direct descendant of modern man in Europe and Asia. They were considered as the primitive man or prehistoric man lived in the cave and used stone implements in hunting and fishing including agriculture. The common human species in this period were Neanderthal Man (70,000 years ago) and Cro Magnon Man (35,000years ago).

These are the stages of human evolution from 40 million years ago to 35,000 years ago:

1. Hominid ( Manlike Primates) - The development of the different species of primates which were able to evolve in 40 million years ago. There have been various relics of hominids which could be described as manlike primates:

a) “Ramapithecus”- This hominid believed to have lived 14 million years which the remains could be found Siwalik Hills of India. The description of this hominid could stand upright and used stones and sticks to frighten his enemies. This kind of specie was found by Mrs. Mary Leaky at the volcanic ash of Laetolil, Tanzania, East Africa in 1975.

b) “ Lucy ” - The American archeologist, Donald C. Johanson discovered a whole skeleton of a teenage girl at Hadar, Addis Ababa, Ethiopa .

c) “ Australopithecus ” – It was believed to live in Africa about 5 million years ago. He had small brain but could walk straight and used simple tools.

2. Homo Habilis ( “Handy Man”) - The apelike men used stone tools as weapons and protection of their enemies.

a) “ Zinjanthropus” – The physical description of this specie was about 4 feet and could walked upright with small brain. He used crude stone weapons for protections against predators. This was discovered by Dr. Louis S.B. Leakey ( Husband of Mrs. Mary Leakey) in Olduva Gorge, Tanzania,East Africa in 1999 which believed to live about 1.75 million years ago.

b) “ Lake Turkana” ( “1470 Man” ) – This specie was about 5 feet tall and walked upright . He used more refined stone tools with a brain double size of a chimpanzee’s brain.This was excavated in Lake Turkana, Kenya, East Africa by Dr. Richard Leakey ( The son of the famous Dr. and Mrs. Leakey) in 1972 which consisted by a shattered skull and leg bones.

3. Homo Erectus ( “Upright Man”) – It was believed to be the first manlike creature that lived about 500,000 years ago in Asia, Africa and Europe. This manlike specie could walk straight with almost the same brain with modern man. He made refined stone tools for hunting and weapons for the protection of the enemies.

(a)“ Pithecanthropus Erectus” ( “Java Man”) – This was discovered by Eugene Dubois at Trinil, Java, Indonesia in 1891 which was then called the “ Java Man” .The physical characteristics of this homo erectus were : about 5 feet tall; could walked erect; heavy and chinless jaw; hairy body of modern man.

(b) “Sinanthropus Pekinensis” ( “Peking Man”) – This homo erectus specie was discovered at Choukoutien village, Beijing, China in 1929.This was about 5’ 2” tall, could walk upright, and the brain almost as large as the modern man which was believed to live 500,000 year ago.

4. Homo Sapien ( “Wise Man”) – It was believed that this was the direct descendant of modern man which lived about 250,000 years ago. They had similar physical descriptions with modern man. They originated as the primitive men whose activities were largely dependent on hunting, fishing and agriculture. They buried their dead, used hand tools and had religion.

(a) Neanderthal Man – The Neanderthal man were discovered in the cave of Neanderthal valley near Dusseldorf, Germany in 1856. It was believed to appear in the high temperate zone in Europe and Asia about 70,000 years ago. They had physical characteristics as heavily built with powerful jaws, brutish and primitively intelligent. They usually lived in cave and dependent in hunting and fishing .They had religious beliefs and more advanced than the homo erectus.

(b) Cro Magnon Man – This was more stronger homo sapien than the neanderthal which was discovered by French archaeologist Louis Lartet in the Cro Magnon Cave at Ley Eyzies in southern France. It was believed to live in Europe, Asia and Africa. Specifically, their remains have been found in western Asia including Italy, Spain, France and Russia and all areas over Africa. They were about 5 feet and 11 inches with more developed brain than their predecessor. As a prehistoric man, they had stone implements, art objects. and consistent hunting skills.

The evolutions of the primitive men are laid in three historic periods.

1. Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age: 3 million years to 8,000 B.C.) The common primitive men identified in this period were the homo erectus such as Java Man and Peking Man; the homo sapiens such as the Neanderthal Man and Cro Magnon Man. The characteristics of this period were:

a) The rough stone tools were used as main weapons and tools such as chisels, knifes, spear and others .

b) They lived in hunting, fishing and gathering any fruits available in the forests.

c) They were able to use fire which was used to cook their food and to protect them from colds.

d) They lived in cave and later learned to build primitive shelter.

e) They learned to developed primitive arts, personal ornaments, and other art forms.

2. Neolithic Period ( New Stone Age : 8,000- 4,000 B.C.) This started in the disappearance of the Cro-Magnun and new people which was considered as modern man.

a) The development of refined stone tools and weapons.

b) They made their own house.

c) They learned to domesticate animals such as horse, pigs, dogs,cattle and etc.

d) They learned to use wove clothes as the protection of their skin.

e) They began to cut trees which was used as boat as a means of transportation and fishing in the rivers.

3. Age of Metals (4,000B.C. – 1,500 B.C.) The used of metal such as bronze, copper, and iron produced a new historical development from the cradles civilization of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia including the India, and China which later on spread through out Asia. The civilization which defines to a more developed social, cultural, political and economic system had spread in Middle East, Asia and even South America. It had already direct contacts through the tribes, kingdoms , empire and later on state which the constant political activities were through conquest , wars and trade.



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